Scoring 24 goals in 29 appearances for your team is no mean feat, even if you are a certain Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg. But her new teammate Nikita Parris accomplished the feat for Manchester City women last term. The England international had been in superb form for the Sky Blues since making a much-deserved move from Everton in 2015. Netting 62 times in 127 outings for the club made her one of the best players to have put on the blue shirt. Her four-year spell with the team was rewarded with several trophies, including the league title.
Unfortunately, just when she was becoming the star player for both club and country, she left Man City to join European champions Lyon this summer. At a time when City is consolidating to dominate the women’s game in England just as it’s happening in the men’s division, Parris’ departure will come as a huge blow to the team. Joining major rivals on the continent, a team that thrashed City 3-0 last season in the women’s International Champions Cup makes it even more worrying.
That the 25-year-old was our best player last season is not in doubt. Like Raheem Sterling, she won the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Player of the Year award for 2018/19. And like Sergio Aguero, she was City’s top goalscorer. However, the acquisition of ‘goal machine’ Karen White from Birmingham City will help fill the void left by Parris.
Young midfielder Georgia Stanway is also ready for the step up. The 20-year-old scored 16 times last season including in the FA Cup final victory at Wembley. Hopefully, the duo will combine to devastating effect to lead Nick Cushing’s ladies to more success just like Aguero and Sterling are doing in the men’s team.